Businesses in 2018 require omnichannel solutions to attract and sell to customers no matter where they are. Traditionally, retailers started as Brick & Mortar businesses and evolved into online businesses. The transition from brick & Mortar has been challenging for many. Top brands like Toys R Us and Radio Shack have filed for bankruptcy partly due to the fact that they cannot compete with Amazon.com. Walmart acquired Jet.com for $3B in order to compete with Amazon.com. Meanwhile, Amazon.com has completely changed this paradigm with the acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon has moved from ecommerce to brick & mortar and completely changed the game while doing it. In addition to the challenges associated with running both a traditional and ecommerce business, 23% of ecommerce was done through mobile devices in the US as of the end of 2017. So you will need a mobile strategy too.
Despite the web and mobile trend, the top retail brands are all physical locations. Top retail businesses like Walmart, Costco, and Home Depot still depend on their physical locations to subsidize their online stores. They are also acquiring online properties in order to supplement their brick & mortar business. What they focus on is understanding their customers and delivering an amazing experience. For physical retail businesses to survive, you need more than a big smile and a good-looking logo. Your business needs to solve a real problem or address a niche in the market. You need to connect with your customer where they already are and deliver happiness. Blockchain technology provides the flexibility necessary to deliver the experience that your customers want both in-store and online.
Building Loyalty Into Your Value System:
It is well known that your most loyal customers are your most profitable customers. Lowering costs and removing fraud are important ways to improve the bottom line of your retail business, but they do not impact loyalty. Loyalty is not a lower price or a good location. Loyalty is making sure that your business operations and values are in line with your target customers. Here are the brands with the most loyal customers. They also happen to be the most profitable brands.
These companies have created an experience that people love and a value system that is aligned with their customers. Most retailers confuse marketing programs like point programs with loyalty programs. Although short-term marketing initiatives with rewards can help draw customers in, if they do not align with the value that you are creating then they will not deliver long-term loyalty.
According to Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere between 5 and 25 times more than retaining an existing one. Once someone has entered your store and made a purchase, it is more important than ever to make sure that they come back. One of the most underappreciated aspects of blockchain technology in the merchant payment process is the technology’s ability to provide customized options at and after the purchase.
Here are a few ways that blockchain payments can improve customer loyalty. First, and the most obvious, is the experience. As a customer, imagine never going to use a credit card that does not work because your information is compromised. Blockchain puts the purchase confirmation in the customer’s hand and does not present the same risks as credit card numbers. Second, once the blockchain is up and running, there are transactional savings. These savings can go towards investments in customer experience and loyalty. It has shown that consumers are more receptive to brands that align with their values. With blockchain, you can customize exactly where that investment goes for each individual customer, therefore, creating a customized rewards program that is in line with that individual’s values. Third, get more data about your customer needs. Small business can get the data that is traditionally fenced off by the large corporations, banks and credit card companies. Fourth, micropayments can be made using the blockchain. Traditional payment methods do not allow you to make small payments because the infrastructure does not allow it. With micropayments, you can contribute a fraction of the transaction to anything you like at checkout. Or create a program that makes multiple contributions to programs of the customer’s choice after purchase.
How would this look like in a real life loyalty program? Taking the cost savings from any transaction and automatically contributing a small percentage of that transaction in real time to the charity of the customer’s choosing. The concept of creating a mass customized rewards program for each individual customer is unheard of and would not be a reality if not for blockchain technology. Utilizing blockchain technology to implement a community focused value system can be the stickiness that you need to keep your best customers coming back.
The Power Of Community Values:
Studies by the University of Alabama show that investing in community can help local retailers thrive with a lower marketing spend. By participating or investing in the local community, retailers can build trust with customers and lessen the importance of the economic value proposition (Price). Some activities that can help retailers build their value-based brand within the local community include making donation, fundraising, encouraging employee volunteering, scholarship grants, sponsorship of events, and partnerships with other local businesses.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to community giving or participation. The first step is to know your community. Get to know the retailers around you to understand if and how you can work together. Keeping customers in your neighborhood will only benefit you by keeping your store top of mind even if the customers are not making daily purchases. Be transparent, stay aligned with what you truly believe and share that with your customers. Customers can see through short-term marketing schemes that are not aligned with your greater goals. Get out of your store and consider events that are already organized in your community or create education that benefits your community and can get more distribution. If possible, be the host and share your location with the local community.
Technology can play an important role in how you participate or contribute to your community. Blockchain-based payments can remove the need to build a network of charities and make contributions. Building your giving into each payment will enable your team to focus on delivering a great experience for customers. Investing in the right POS and marketing software can help you remember your customers and provide a unique experience for them. They will also help you communicate more effectively with a personalized message. The right website infrastructure can help you test your message and drive customers to your store. Having a web and mobile platform that enables you to easily build, test and adapt your message will help you communicate the right values to your customers before they ever enter your store.
seedpay helps local communities thrive by delivering a more secure and effective payment infrastructure. Local businesses depend on legacy payment infrastructure to run their business which is not built around loyalty. By using blockchain technology seedpay is able to deliver payment solutions that meet statewide and local needs. Unlike other payment technology seedpay has built an entirely new infrastructure that lowers costs, increases loyalty and seamlessly gives back to local communities.